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There are a lot of ways in which you can prepare for your travels that will make life easier while you're away.


Research your destination

Read up on the country where you’ll be staying. Buy a travel guide or do some research into the local culture. To make the most of your opportunity find out what the local area is renowned for, be it food, drink or history.

Top Tip: It’s worth learning a basic phrase or two in the local language. You’ll find people really appreciate the gesture.

Make a budget

Work out exactly how much you’ll need and how much you know you’ll have. Do this in advance so that if it looks like you’re going to be short you can start saving up. If you’re not sure how, check out the advice from Go Overseas.

Things to budget for:

  • Travel to destination
  • Local travel
  • Accommodation
  • Food/Drink
  • Social activities
  • Sightseeing
  • Insurance
  • Passport (if new one required)
  • Visa (if needed)
  • Travel and medical supplies
  • Vaccinations
  • Emergency Fund

Start monitoring the exchange rate

Your time abroad could end up being more expensive (or even cheaper) than you were expecting if the exchange rate changes.

Think about whether you’ll open a bank account, use a pre-paid travel card or just stick with your debit card. Be sure to compare the costs for each before you go to help your money go further.

Top Tip: Tell your bank that you’re going abroad. If you don’t, they may cancel your card when it’s used in another country.

Authorise someone to help manage your finances whilst your away

Authorise a trusted relative or friend to communicate with Student Finance and your UK bank on your behalf. You might also want to authorise someone to make deposits (but not withdrawals) into your bank in case of emergencies.


Remember you’ll be able to buy things once you arrive, so you don’t need to cram everything you own into your bag. It’s worth checking what your accommodation provides so you don’t waste any space.

Top Tip: Check whether your phone contract can be used abroad. You may want to buy a SIM card once in your host country or add an extra bolt on to your current UK contract.

Checklist of things to take with you

  • Valid passport and a photocopy of it (please make sure to check the latest Brexit travel advice). We also recommend you leave a photocopy of your passport with a family member.
  • EHIC card (Europe only).
  • Visa (if applicable).
  • Travel insurance documentation (check this covers what you need it for and anything you might do whilst you’re there).
  • Medication (you may need to collect extra prescriptions before you go, take a doctor’s note with you).
  • Credit card/cash in sterling and foreign currency.
  • Food for the journey/first day.
  • Travel adaptor.
  • Electronics chargers
  • Destination guidebook